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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Community Arts Center to host reception for Shaft, Junior Shaft exhibits Nov. 3

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center will host a reception for the 18th annual Shaft and Junior Shaft Exhibits from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3.

The community was invited to submit artwork inspired by mining in the Copper Country -- the physical signs of its presence or the effect it has had on the area and its people. Visitors will be able to cast a vote for their favorite piece throughout the length of the exhibit. Cash awards will be announced the first week of December.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Call 482-2333 for more information.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Margaret Parker’s “Shirts and Skins” at Reflection Gallery, Nov. 2 - 27

"Army Time," by Margaret Parker, is part of her sculpture and installation exhibit, "Shirts and Skins," at the Finlandia University Reflection Gallery Nov. 2 - 27, 2011. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- The Finlandia University Reflection Gallery, Hancock, will host a sculpture and installation exhibit, "Shirts and Skins," by artist Margaret Parker, Nov. 2 to Nov. 27, 2011.

An opening reception for the artist will take place at the Reflection Gallery from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. The reception is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.

Parker will also conduct a public workshop while she is on campus, working with students and community members to create a second installation in a first floor lounge at Finlandia Hall, the university’s residence hall on Summit Street.

The drop-in workshop, sponsored by the Finlandia Campus Enrichment Committee, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.

To make this installation activity possible, the Reflection Gallery needs t-shirts -- lots of t-shirts -- in any condition. Drop-off locations are in Finlandia Hall, Room 211, and at the Jutila Center campus. Shirts must be dropped off by Nov. 1, or workshop participants can bring them the day of the first workshop.

The Finlandia Hall community installation will also be on display through Nov. 27.

Parker’s Reflection Gallery space installation will reference the form of a human torso. The Finlandia Hall installation will create an archway.

"Wounded," by Margaret Parker.

"Since 9/11, I've been exploring what it means to be human in a global age and what kind of space can help us create an understanding of global humanity," Parker writes in her artist statement. "What consumes me when I make art is how to express these themes that are so complex and so pressing. If art is not attempting to engage these themes, it is not reflecting our deepest lives."

According to Parker, "Perfection in art doesn’t really interest me; I’m more interested in something that reaches for what’s hard to say, something more rough and more human. T-shirts have given me a way to show how individuals have been utterly altered by two wars in the Mideast and the era of terrorism."

"Abu-Ghraib" by Margaret Parker.

Viewer participation is very important to Parker’s intent.

She explains, "Once the viewer sees the piece is made from a T-shirt, they must figure out how it was taken apart. I’m very interested in that spatial reasoning because it pulls the viewer backwards into the creative process, making an image that reverberates in the memory."

Parker has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Michigan School of Art, Ann Arbor. She has created sculptures and art installations in Michigan, New York, and Maine. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in the collections of the United States Capitol, the State Department Art Bank, the Maine Maritime Academy, University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, Chelsea Medical Center, and many private collections. Visit Parker’s website at

Parker helped found Art Pro Tem, a community-based non-profit organization established in 2004 that sponsors experimental art in non-traditional spaces. She is a founding member of the Women’s Caucus for Art, Michigan Chapter; a member of the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County; and has served on the City of Ann Arbor Public Art Commission since 2004, chairing the commission from 2006 to 2010.

The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of Finlandia’s Jutila Center campus, 200 Michigan St., Hancock.

For additional information, please contact Yueh-mei Cheng, professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or e-mail

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Premiere of film "Risk and Resilience" to be held at new Calumet Visitor Center Oct. 27

CALUMET -- Join Nancy Haffner of RBH Multimedia as she premieres the film Risk and Resilience, produced as part of the new permanent exhibit at Keweenaw National Historical Park’s new visitor center. Filmed throughout the Keweenaw during the summer and winter of 2010 and 2011, the 14-minute piece provides an overview of the Keweenaw’s copper mining history personalized by local residents sharing their own stories and perspectives.

This free, special event is part of the grand opening celebration of the Calumet Visitor Center. It will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Calumet Visitor Center, located at 98 Fifth Street in Calumet. For more information, including specific directions to the event, please call Keweenaw National Historical Park at 906/337-3168 or visit

Orpheum Theater to present pop, folk, indie music Oct. 28

HANCOCK -- The Orpheum Theater in Hancock will present Wavvy Hands, Good Weather for Airstrikes, and Pioneer Parade! This concert of great pop, folk and indie music from across Michigan will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28.

Bring a beverage if you'd like to, and enjoy some delicious Studio Pizza at the Orpheum Theater, on Quincy St. in downtown Hancock!

Khana Khazana features Thai cuisine to benefit flood victims in Thailand

HOUGHTON -- This week's Khana Khazana ("Food Treasure") will help Thai students raise funds for people in their homeland who face the worst flooding in more than 50 years.

More than 350 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million people have been affected.

Khana Khazana will serve Thai cuisine from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28, in the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Food Court. Profits will be donated to the people of Thailand.

This week's fare includes radish and tofu soup; Khao Man Khai, jasmine rice with boiled chicken and spicy sauce; and a dessert -- mango sticky rice, made with sweet ripe mango, sweet sticky rice, and coconut milk.

The cost is $6 for a full meal (which includes a beverage) and $2 for each item. There will be food for vegetarians, too.

Khana Khazana is a weekly collaboration of Michigan Tech Dining Services and international students.

Mike Shupe's bird photos featured at Portage Library

HOUGHTON -- Wild bird photographs by local artist Mike Shupe are on display at the Portage Lake District Library through November. This exhibit is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Community Arts Center in Hancock and features the work of area artists with displays and occasional programs.

Anna Leppänen and her daughter, Maisa, 3, admire photographer Mike Shupe's photos of birds (linnut). Maisa, who is bilingual, learned some names of the birds in both Finnish and English; e.g., tunturipöllö is the snowy owl. Today, Maisa decorated a pumpkin during the children's story hour at the library. The children's story hour is every Wednesday and Thursday from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

Shupe has been shooting extraordinary views of the landscape and creatures in their natural habitat for many years. These photographs provide an intimate look at the marvelous birds of the area. Shupe is an extremely patient artist and captures the graceful, elegant, cute, and comical personalities of our feathered friends in beautiful light. He is the owner of M.J. Shupe Photography and The Studio on Quincy Street in Hancock.

A closer view of Mike Shupe's photo of the snowy owl (tunturipöllö).

The exhibit is located next to the library's big, wooden double doors.

For information about library exhibits and programs, please call the library at 482-4570.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keweenaw National Historical Park to host Grand Opening of Visitor Center Oct. 27

CALUMET -- Keweenaw National Historical Park (NHP) invites the entire Copper Country community to the Grand Opening of the Calumet Visitor Center, located in the historic Union Building at 98 Fifth Street, Calumet. Superintendent Mike Pflaum announced that the ribbon cutting will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, with U.S. Senator Carl Levin and NPS Midwest Regional Director Mike Reynolds performing the honors.

The Calumet Visitor Center is the first NPS-operated visitor facility at Keweenaw National Historical Park, which celebrates its 19th anniversary on Thursday as well.

"The opening of this wonderful facility represents a major milestone for the park," Pflaum noted, "and it will be a treasure for the entire community for decades to come."

Visitor services have previously been provided by the park’s 19 non-Federal Keweenaw Heritage Site partners, who will continue providing those valuable services for visitors to the Copper Country.

Thursday events for the Grand Opening include ringing of Calumet church bells at 9:30 a.m., followed by the ribbon cutting, an American Naturalization ceremony, a pasty lunch by the Calumet Lodge of the Eastern Star, free trolley tours of the Calumet National Historic Landmark District provided by the National Park Service and the Red Jacket Trolley Company, free tours of the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne’s and the Calumet Theatre, and the film premier of Risk and Resilience. The tours will be offered both Thursday and Friday. A Historians’ Symposium will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning, Oct. 28.

Click here for a schedule of events.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Women and Water Rights II" group exhibit to open Oct. 27 at Finlandia Gallery

"Drowning Before I Learn to Swim," a mixed media collage by Marquette artist Rosa Musket, is part of the new group exhibit, "Women and Water Rights II: Rivers of Regeneration," at the Finlandia Gallery in the Finnish American Heritage Center -- opening this Thursday, Oct. 27. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- "Women and Water Rights II: Rivers of Regeneration," a group exhibition, will be featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, Oct. 27 to Nov. 22, 2011.

Included in the exhibit are works by Liz Dodson and James Brenner, Mayumi Amada, Cheryl Wilgren Clyne, Rosa Musket, Christine Flavin, Yueh-mei Cheng, Melissa Hronkin, Robert Grame, Phyllis Fredendall, and Denise Vandeville.

An opening reception for the artists will take place at the gallery from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27. The artists will speak at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Who has the right to bodies of water, in our state, our country, our world? What are the issues involved in making water available to us? How does gender affect the right to water?

Several years ago in Minnesota, a group of women began discussing these questions. Their inquiry blossomed into the 2010 juried exhibit and symposium "Women and Water Rights: Rivers of Regeneration." The event was organized by the Women's Caucus for Art, Minnesota Chapter, and held at the Katherine Nash Gallery on the University of Minnesota Campus.

"Women and Water Rights II: Rivers of Regeneration" will feature artwork by four artists who participated in the Minnesota exhibit: Liz Dodson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and James Brenner (Chicago, Ill.), Mayumi Amada (Minneapolis), and Cheryl Wilgren Clyne (St. Paul, Minn.).

Minneapolis artist Mayumi Amada in her studio. Amada participated in the 2010 juried exhibit and symposium "Women and Water Rights: Rivers of Regeneration," in Minnesota. Her sculpture made of recycled plastic bottles will be part of the second "Women and Water Rights" exhibit in the Finlandia Gallery. (Photo courtesy Bakken Museum, Minneapolis, Minn.)

Also featured in the current exhibit are seven Upper Peninsula artists: Rosa Musket (Marquette, MI), Christine Flavin (Marquette), Yueh-mei Cheng (Hancock), Melissa Hronkin (Mass City), Robert Grame (Houghton), Phyllis Fredendall (Hancock) and Denise Vandeville (Alston).

Liz Dodson, a longtime member of the Women's Caucus for Art, helped to organize the Minnesota "Women and Water Rights" exhibit, working with Marilyn Cuneo of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Diane Katsiaficas, an art professor at the University of Minnesota.

For the Finlandia Gallery exhibit, Dodson has collaborated with her son, James Brenner, a Chicago-based sculptor and director of the studio collective Chicago Sculpture Works, to create a sculpture that addresses the water crisis.

"The Latin roots for 'sea' and 'mother' are the same: 'mer,' Dodson notes. "We know that without water there is no life, just as without women, there would be no life. How can the 'feminine' qualities of intuition, creativity, and connection restore balance to the planet and meet the long-term needs of all who inhabit her?"

Mayumi Amada will display "Floating/Ukiyo," a 5′ x 9′ sculpture made from recycled plastic bottles.

"Domesticity is the underlying code for my work and I often use traditional female handcraft techniques and their images," says Amada. "The transformation of material is another characteristic of my artwork."

Amada uses flowing water as a metaphor for life. "Time and life are moving forward from the past to the future like the flow of a river," she adds.

Multi-media artist Cheryl Wilgren Clyne will screen a new digital video titled, "Below Lies Softly Glowing." The video was shown recently at the Burnet Art Gallery, Minneapolis, and 2012 screenings are scheduled in New York and Berlin.

"Below Lies Softly Glowing," from video by Cheryl Wilgren Clyne of St. Paul, Minn. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Rosa Musket is a passionate advocate for water rights, and that passion is expressed in the mixed media artwork she will display in the Finlandia Gallery exhibit.

"My heart has been given over to water and its absolute preciousness to our very existence," says Musket. "The need for water to be available to all, without impurities, informs my current work. I ask: is it still water, when there are additives of every sort in it?"

For the group exhibit, Christine Flavin has expanded on her recent photographs of abandoned mine sites in Michigan's Upper Peninsula by addressing the emotional impact of mining on past generations of men, women, and children.

"In response to the invitation to exhibit my work with other artists in 'Women and Water Rights II,' I began researching the number of deaths that occurred in the mines between the years of 1880 and 1920, the era when the mining industry was at a peak," says Flavin.

The resulting photographs underscore the loss, isolation, abandonment, and marginalization experienced by the widows and children of deceased miners.

Denise Vandeville's porcelain vase, "Waterfall," captures the sights and sounds of a stream that runs behind her home in Alston. Vandeville says that the stream is "a long slow waterfall that puddles and flows, puddles and flows. This piece is a gift from that stream."

By manipulating materials and heat, Vandeville explains that in this piece she was able to emulate the feeling of flowing water, even in the glaze puddles on the horizontal planes that are the shoulders of the pots.

"Is it sight or sound that keeps us sitting at a waterfall?" asks Vandeville. "I enjoy waterfalls even with my eyes shut. The sound of moving water must have soothed the human soul long before music was invented."

For artist Phyllis Fredendall, living near Lake Superior is a constant source of inspiration.

"Lake Superior is my anchor and magnet," she says. "It buoys and baptizes me in the summer and generates layer upon layer of purifying snow in the winter. How to express the preciousness of that water? To speak of it as a 'right' is impossible. It is a sacred body."

Yueh-mei Cheng, who will show a drawing in the exhibit, says, "There's an old saying that women are made of water. Water represents the balance of strength and delicacy that signifies women's lives."

Noting the relationship between women and water in traditional Eastern literature and spiritual practices, Cheng adds. "The symbolic metaphor for the female quality of compassion and wisdom indicates purity, flexibility and durability."

Melissa Hronkin's installation -- "earth, air, fire, water" -- is an intimately scaled, interactive work that employs copper, wood, and glass specimen jars containing substances such as honey, water, salt, ash, dirt, and other precious materials.

"It is a reflection of how the elements of earth, air, fire, and water are all interdependent and necessary to maintain balance on any level," explains Hronkin.

Robert Grame, associate professor of graphic design, joined the faculty of Finlandia's International School of Art and Design this fall. As a designer, Grame believes in the social and ethical responsibility of design. He will display "Measuring Inequality," a mixed media installation/information architecture piece.

"The installation is intended to portray the overall disparity of existing water footprints in terms of water usage per capita, by country," he explains.

Finlandia Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.; or by appointment.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.

From Brockit: Northern Lights above Lily Pond

Adam Johnson of Brockit sends this great photo of Northern Lights above the Lily Pond near Hancock this morning, Oct. 25. (Photo © 2011 ADAM JOHNSON | Reprinted with permission)

American Lung Association: Schuette’s action lets polluters off hook, puts Michigan kids at risk

LANSING -- The American Lung Association recently lambasted Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for standing up for big polluters in litigation aimed at blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward on updated standards to address toxic, life-threatening power plant pollution.

"The decision by Attorney General Bill Schuette and his counterparts in other states to stand up for polluters and to ignore the health of Michigan’s children is quite shocking," said Peter Iwanowicz, assistant vice president for the American Lung Association. "The job of an attorney general is to protect and advocate for the residents they serve. Attorney General Schuette has done the exact opposite by siding with big polluters over the health and well-being of our children and other vulnerable residents."

Earlier this month Attorney General Schuette joined attorneys general in 24 other states in demanding that the federal court prevent the EPA from enacting life-saving regulations designed to protect the public health. The group has asked for a one-year delay in the finalization of the EPA’s Power Plant Mercury and Air Toxics Rule. The rule, proposed by the EPA in mid-March 2011, was issued in response to a court decision compelling the agency to abide by the requirements set in the Clean Air Act. As part of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, Congress directed the EPA to set limits on power plant mercury and air toxics.

The EPA estimates that the regulations will "prevent serious illnesses and health problems for thousands of Americans, including: up to 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 heart attacks, 120,000 asthma attacks, 12,200 hospital and emergency room visits, 4,500 cases of chronic bronchitis and 5.1 million restricted activity days."

"As a nurse, I’ve see firsthand how harmful pollution endangers lives," said Mary Scoblic, who has a master’s degree in pediatric nursing and has served on the ALAM (American Lung Association in Michigan) board since 1975. "There is nothing that rings the wake-up call louder than seeing a child gasping for breath because his lungs have been damaged by pollution. It’s the EPA’s job to protect all of us from dangerous pollution, and it’s our attorney general’s job to look out for our best interests."

Attorney General Schuette’s action comes as a report released by the Great Lakes Commission shows that mercury contamination in the Great Lakes is more widespread than originally thought, which presents a serious health issue in Michigan. The report underscores the need for moving ahead with the EPA proposal to reduce mercury and air toxics from power plants.

"There is no disputing that pollution and neurotoxins such as mercury have a devastating effect on children’s health," said Jan Roberts, a registered nurse and certified asthma educator. "Attorney General Schuette is turning back the clock on progress made to improve the air that fills our children and grandchildren’s lungs. Clean, healthy air is a necessity for all of us."

Editor's Note: The Sierra Club is asking concerned citizens to sign a petition to Attorney General Schuette and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow to ask them to protect families' health, not polluters' profits. Click here to sign the petition, which will be delivered in Lansing this Thursday, Oct. 27.

Monday, October 24, 2011

NOSOTROS to host cultural presentation, Halloween Latin Dance Party

NOSOTROS invites the public to a Halloween Latin Dance Party beginning with salsa lessons at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28. (Poster courtesy NOSOTROS)

HOUGHTON -- The NOSOTROS student organization at Michigan Tech will host two free events this week -- a cultural presentation and a Halloween Latin Dance Party.

The fourth presentation of the series "A Door to Latin culture," will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Fisher 138 on the Michigan Tech campus. Rudiger Escobar Wolf will talk about his country, Guatemala. Pizza and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. This event is supported by the Parents' Fund of the Michigan Tech Fund.

NOSOTROS invites the public to a free, family friendly Halloween Party with Latin dancing on Friday evening, Oct. 28, in Memorial Union Ballroom A. The event begins at 8 p.m. with a salsa class and continues at 9 p.m. with open floor. Wear your scary costumes! Light snacks and soft drinks will be provided. The party is sponsored by Graduate Student Government (GSG) and Undergraduate Student Government (USG).

Michigamme Moonshine Gallery to feature work by local artists Oct. 24 - Nov. 29

"The Heron Flight," by Sandra Palmore. (Photo courtesy Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery)

MICHIGAMME --The Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery will present "Copper Country Express," featuring work by several local artists, from Oct. 24 through Nov. 29, 2011.

The exhibit will include original art by Lynn Anderson, MaryAnn Beckwith, Cynthia Coté, Ed Gray, Margo McCafferty and and Tom Rudd, Jack Oyler, and Sandra Palmore .

The public is invited to a reception for the artists from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Gallery, located at 136 E. Main in Michigamme. Refreshments will be served.

The U.P.’s "Copper Country" attracts people from all walks of life including a diverse and vibrant community of artists. The relative isolation of the Keweenaw Peninsula provides an opportunity for artists to reflect on nature away from the usual distractions of the 21st century. This remoteness is both a boon and bane for artists who want to show their work to a wider audience. Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery is bridging that gap by showcasing an invited group of eight talented people in their Marquette County venue for a one-month show.

Lynn Anderson works in fiber arts because she enjoys the "doing" as much as the final result. She likes people to respond to her delicate and carefully produced creations.

Mary Ann Beckwith is a widely known watercolorist who relies on primary colors in her paintings. Her work is mostly abstracts with imbedded meanings.

Cynthia Coté is the director of the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock. Her recent work consists of carefully selected, sorted, and folded paper arranged in thoughtful ways to share a narrative experience with the viewer.

Ed Gray has been deeply involved in the artist community in many places for over fifty years. He has rediscovered and revived traditional pottery making techniques used thousands of years ago by the Upper Peninsula’s "first people." Hand coiled clay is carved with plant and animal figures and fired in earth pits. Native copper in the soil seeps into the clay body to produce a variety of natural colors.

Margo McCaffery and Tom Rudd collaborate in a variety of media that includes the very demanding art of linocut printing with multiple layers of ink to create rich textural surfaces. McCafferty also paints nature and still-lifes in the exacting trompe l’oeil style.

Jack Oyler creates scenes from a pallet of wood pieces carefully formed and colored to produce raised images that convey humorous narratives. Frames provide a context that are an integral part of each piece.

Sandra Palmore has been creating pastels inspired by nature for over ten years. Her whimsical images invite the viewer to see things in a "slightly different way."

Talent, care and devotion are on display in this special exhibit. It is an opportunity to discover fresh new ideas from a dynamic corner of the Upper Peninsula.

Dave Dempsey to speak on Great Lakes policy Oct . 25 at Michigan Tech

HOUGHTON -- Dave Dempsey, policy advisor to the International Joint Commission, will present "New Directions on Great Lakes Water Resources Policy" at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 25, in M and M U115 on the Michigan Tech University campus. A reception will follow in the Dow eighth floor Atrium. The public is welcome.

The seminar is co-sponsored by the Environmental Energy Policy Graduate Program in the Department of Social Sciences and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.